Would I be able to hear the difference?
Jun 2, 2021 at 7:49 PM Post #61 of 81

Tachyon88

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That said, if I go with the HD600 or 650, I doubt the Realtek will drive them.
The M50X have an impedance of 38 ohms, while the HD600/650 are 300 ohms.
So I will need a better (than the Behringer) DAC and amp in order to appreciate the more expensive cans.
Here is solderdudes power requirement guide. You need to know the impedance and sensitivity measured in either db/mW or db/mV. I don't know anything about the specs of your hardware. HD6xx has an impedance swing all the way up to 483 ohms as well.
 
Jun 2, 2021 at 7:50 PM Post #62 of 81

Redcarmoose

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Not sure were HD600 or HD650 are made? I do know that it’s a matter of taste if you like one or the other. The HD600 and HD650 threads are going to have more detail on sound difference.

Typically using the computer on-board sound is a recipe for disaster. The on-board has too much noise from other devices inside the computer, like the power supply. Typically the on board sound is not powerful enough for many headphones. I’m not sure if the Behringer UMC202HD will drive the HD600? Though I have two pair of AKG k701 and I’m close to positive nothing you have will drive the AKG k702s.

The k702s are one of the hardest to drive headphones ever. In fact the purchase of the Woo Audio 3 and AKG k701 were the two products that started me on the value of headphone amps. I could not have found two products which were father from working. Interesting though the HD600 and HD650 are two headphones which sound great through the W3? It is synergy that the W3 and HD650/HD600 have.

Here is a review I did for the AKG k701 headphones:
https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/akg-k701-studio-headphones.11862/reviews#review-15007

In hindsight, I would probably cut back one whole star in the review due to the bass issues at hand?

The only amp that will drive the k701 (that I have) is the Woo Audio 5LE. That 5LE is the only piece of equipment I actually don’t have with me at the moment. But you will be hard pressed to find an amp that is truly special with the k702s? Nothing in my possession now truly drives the k701. The k701 has a very open soundstage and is very fast but even with the right amp has borderline bass, the k702 was the same way when I heard it. The reason the k702 comes up is it is still a flagship headphone that can be acquired on the cheap.

So what happens is the k701/k702 get loud enough but the bass breaks up into a crunchy mess with most amps. This is due to damping factor. Obviously there are amps which drive them but it’s a very select group.

Take note, that while loved by many, the HD800 is an acquired taste. With the right amp in combination with the headphone it has some of the best imaging known. That is due to the transient response of amp and headphone. But some feel the HD800 is lacking bass. In many ways the AKG k701 and HD800 share the same sound. K701 came out in 06 (I think) and the HD800 at the end of 2009. Really if you are primarily a closed back person there are a wide range of closed backs in the HD800 category!

Both the k701 and HD800 have a very linear bass response as well as a midrange peak. Though many absolutely love what the HD800 does......becoming the end-game purchase. For classical the both the k701 and HD800 are still held in high regard. But if you like the sound of closed backs there are so many choices which will not require “fiddling” with the headphone to get the desired sound.
 
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Jun 2, 2021 at 8:30 PM Post #63 of 81

ultrarunner2018

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I figured out why the on-board Realtek audio sounded 'brighter' than the UMC202HD on USB. It was the Windows EQ APO & Peace I had installed.
The APO was configured for the Realtek, but not the Behringer. I have since installed it for the Behringer and now can EQ that as well.

For $299, I really think the HD600 is my best option at this point; But I have to wait. Sweetwater has no stock, but says more coming - just not when.
But considering that SW is $100 less than Amazon for the 600's, I will go that route.
 
Jun 2, 2021 at 9:01 PM Post #64 of 81

Redcarmoose

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Another “wild-card” suggestion could be the MDR-Z7. A long past flagship from 2014. The product has been long discontinued but maybe found with some searching.

This maybe would be more of a home coming of sorts? Though keep in mind it is a little bass foggy until played on the right set-up. Even the Asgard and using the DAC in the TA, single ended was problematic? Though if driven with the right amp it is a potential for you. I found mine “open-box” for $360 in 2018.

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You could search the used market and who knows? Maybe there will be a pair waiting for you? Keep in mind they are finicky and require a certain way of amping to remove the low end “fog”. But it is by far end-game.........especially for a closed back headphone lover.
 
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Jun 2, 2021 at 9:07 PM Post #65 of 81

Redcarmoose

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I wish someone would put in some Behringer suggestions.
 
Jun 2, 2021 at 9:13 PM Post #66 of 81

ultrarunner2018

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I think I'm going to order the HD600 from Sweetwater for $299.
Hopefully they'll get stock soon. But even if I have to wait 30 days or more, I get the $299 price before it goes back to $399.
Amazon says it will be in stock (for $399) on June 7, so hopefully Sweetwater will get some around that time as well.

Edit: I just placed my order for the HD600 at Sweetwater.
Apparently, they received a shipment today, as they now show in-stock with delivery by Mon 6/7.
I am psyched! Just hope my Behringer will drive them. If not, I'm going to rig up that old Onkyo. Maybe not the best option, but it might be OK until I can get a proper hp amp.
That said, the Schiit DAC and amp have a 6-8 week lead time. Maybe I'll just get a THX instead...??
 
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Jun 2, 2021 at 9:46 PM Post #67 of 81

n05ey

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I have greatly enjoyed using old receivers with the senns (650 in my case).

My 2c would be to be slow with your equipment upgrades and enjoy each stage. There are few audio magic bullets of sonic perfection so I am finding the enjoyment of the journey toward what I like or even trying differing audio experiences more valuable than perpetual attempts at upgrades.
 
Jun 2, 2021 at 10:18 PM Post #68 of 81

ultrarunner2018

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I have greatly enjoyed using old receivers with the senns (650 in my case).

My 2c would be to be slow with your equipment upgrades and enjoy each stage. There are few audio magic bullets of sonic perfection so I am finding the enjoyment of the journey toward what I like or even trying differing audio experiences more valuable than perpetual attempts at upgrades.
I agree. I will appreciate each upgrade if I do them one at a time.
 
Jun 2, 2021 at 10:45 PM Post #69 of 81

Redcarmoose

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What ends up happening is it takes while to truly learn a headphone’s personality. Even after I have reviewed something, going back years later gives a new perspective. In 5 years we have all different changes that help put a headphone in a different light.

I’m pretty sure my assumptions from years gone by are still partially right. But new headphones come and they help put the old ones in perspective. Right now I’ve spent 2 days with an older IEM........the Fearless S6Rui. At $360 it is amazing and well rounded. Funny though, I put it for years at the bottom of my list as far as having issues. The main problem has been a metallic sheen across the midrange. Typically that is especially noticeable with electric guitar? Though the last day I have not found any problems with it? I’m using some new tips which must change the perception of the sound? There was an abundance of this buzzy sound with electric guitars that has actually gone? The main issue is guitar sounds off! I know timbre is still not 100% right, but these new tips really change the sound? Guitar almost sounds fine?

In fact, I find it well balanced and very able to do the styles of music it is good at.....which is most genres? Funny how time changes things? To the point almost of the underdog being again close to top dog? Our hearing changes as well as what we find to be valuable in a response. For the longest time the S6Rui was bordering on too bright? But not anymore? What happened was after 2 days.........I adjusted to it?

I’m also using new firmware that I have never used with it?
 
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Jun 3, 2021 at 1:06 AM Post #70 of 81

Redcarmoose

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Budget IEMs beat budget headphones.
 
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Jun 9, 2021 at 5:58 PM Post #71 of 81

ultrarunner2018

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So I received my new HD600's on Monday 6/7.
I have been listening mainly to classical music ripped from CD's I own.
When I first put on the headphones, I was pleased to feel the comfort. I do feel the slight pressure that some were talking about with bran-new, but they are still very comfy.
When I first began listening to the HD600's I played Vivaldi's 4 Seasons performed by the Opheus Chamber Orchestra with Gil Shaham conducting. The recording is on Deutche Grammaphon. It is one of the best recordings I own.
I plugged the HD600's (and the ATH-M50X) into the Behringer UMC202HD AI on USB.
Before putting the HD600's on, I turned off the EQ, so I would be listening 'barefoot'.
I switched between the HD600's and the ATH-M50X for comparison, since these are the only two pair of cans I consider worthy.
I immediately noticed that the HD600's have a 'warmer' sound compared to the M50X. That said, the HD600's seem to have a more 'musical' quality than the M50X.
To clarify this; The M50X seem to exaggarate the highs from 2K up. This sometimes produces a 'harsh' sound. While I enjoy lots of high end as well as bass, I feel that I might have been sacrificing some of the midrange for all of that high end energy.

The HD600's are said to bring out the midrange, and that is what I believe I am hearing. Rather than an exaggaration of the highs (and/or lows) the HD600's produce a more 'true' sound, as it was probably meant to be heard.
That said, I felt as though there was a damping of the high end, especially above 4KHz.
I don't consider myself an audiofile, but I do have discriminating ears. I like my music to have a bright sound, and yet not so much to mask the mids. I think this is what the M50X have been doing.

Recalling what I have been told in this thread - specifically that your brain needs to adjust to the sound of a new pair of cans, I am allowing this to happen now.
That said, I have found that I prefer the sound of most classical (orchestral and strings) music with a bit of EQ.
I currently am listening to a Dvorak cello concerto using the Windows EQ APO and Peace UI with the following settings:
10Hz - 577Hz: 0dB
1KHz: +3.5dB
2KHz: +6.5dB
4KHz: +9.0dB
8KHz: +9.0dB
16KHz: 0dB
20KHz: 0dB

I am really enjoying this sound. The EQ seems to put me right up there on stage with the musicians, where I can hear every nuance of the beautiful music.
Without the EQ, I might be sitting in the middle of the hall. The highs are not as crisp back there, but it is a more 'relaxed' sound.
I guess what I want to hear depends on my mood. If I am trying to get to sleep, I would not use the EQ, as I am most interested in the warm mids but still with clean highs and lows - albeit a bit attenuated?
But when I want to really LISTEN to the music, and pick out every instrument, I need the EQ.

If I am comparing the Sennheiser HD600's to the Audio Technica ATH-M50X (which one should probably not do), I will say that the HD600's handle the EQ in a more melodious way.
To clarify: When I use the EQ stated above with the HD600's, the music has the crisp highs that I love so much, but still holds the 'warmth' of the mids. The music remains very melodious.
But when I use the same EQ with the M50X, the highs seem to be exaggarated, masking the mids to some extent, and causing the music to sound a bit 'harsh'.
While I still love that sound for Rock, I don't think it fits Classical (orchestral) so well. I feel that orchestral music has so much warmth to be heard, that it requires emphasis of the mids, which is what the HD600's seem to excel at.

About soundstage:
I had read before purchasing the HD600's that these cans do not really have a soundstage. But if compared to the closed-back ATH-M50X, the HD600's certainly do have more of a soundstage. I can definitely hear the 'ambience' more with the 600's than I do with the M50X.

In the end, I will say that I am very happy with the HD600's. I love that I have the EQ which I can set to any profile I wish.

One last thing:
I think I am going to upgrade my DAC /Amp very soon.
First, I have occasional problems with the USB connector on the UMC202HD. It sometimes gets loose, even though I do not jostle the calbes. This will cause intermittend disconnects from the Windows driver - the USB device has failed to communicate with the OS.
Jiggling the USB cable fixes the problem, but for how long?

The Behringer does seem to drive the HD600's well enough, but I think I deserve better.

I'm not sure whether to go with the Schiit stack or a THX integrated module.
One thing that may help make a decision is that Schiit has such a long lead-time on all of its products, while TXH seem to be available sooner.
I will need to do some further research before making a decision. But for now, the AI I have is doing a pretty good job.

Ultrarunner
 
Jun 9, 2021 at 7:51 PM Post #72 of 81

oakparkmusicguy

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As a classical musician I think you made a great choice with the Sennheisers. I have the 6XX and the 58X (and AKGs, Beyers). The 6XX are far and away the best for classical. Subtleties like hearing how notes are articulated is amazing. I’m very treble sensitive so I appreciate their clarity without having any harshness. And the bass is natural.
But then I like the 58X for a general do-it-all headphone.
AKGs were my gateway into mid-fi but I don’t do any serious listening with them. I like the 7XX for gaming and M220 as a beater set for my practice room or as a spare at work. My Beyerdynamics don’t get used much other than using the closed back for recording and the open backs for gaming and movies.
That said, I do enjoy my variety of headphones as it reduces listening fatigue for and keeps my ears listening for different things.
As far as DAC/amp… I have Schiit Modi, Fulla 2, Fulla 3, Vali 2 and 2+, Magni 3+, RHA Dacamp, and two very cheap portables from Amazon. And Mackie Blackjack interface and VLZ mixers.
I say go for an amp but don’t stress about it. The Schiit stuff is great but anything like that or THX or O2 would be fine. I dare say that many people wouldn’t be able to pick the Vali or the $20 amp apart in a blind test.
But the Vali 2 and 2+ are my favorites.
The Magni 3+ is just too bright for me.
Sound through any of my Mackie stuff is just fine although I like the Vali’s better. But we’re talking finer degrees here. With your Sennheisers and quality source files you’re 80-90% there! The amp will add a noticeable but smaller incremental improvement. And as long as the DAC is reasonable I wouldn’t worry to much about it.
 
Jun 9, 2021 at 8:20 PM Post #73 of 81

ultrarunner2018

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I suppose I could start with the amp, plugging it into the rear (main) outputs of the Behringer. But I would still have the lousy USB connector issue with the Behringer.
I'm not the only one complaining about the lousy USB connector; I have read posts in other forums about the problem. Apparently Behringer 'cheaped out' when building these dirt-cheap UMC's. All it takes is one bad component, and you've got a bad product.
Along the same lines, I had a couple of Heathkit amateur radio rigs. Both of them used really cheap parts - especially connectors.
One example was the crystal sockets on a scanner. The crystals were constantly losing contact, resulting in channels that didn't work at all.
I had access to some high quality sockest made by Berg, and that solved all of my problems. But these connectors had expensive gold plated contacts - something the Heathkit would never have designed for. Heck - one of those Berg terminals would cost more than the whole lot of what Heathkit put in the entire radio!

Along these lines, I wish that Sennheiser would have used a 1/4 inch native plug instead of the 3.5mm with the adapter. It's not difficult to find 1/4 to 3.5mm adapters if one should desire them.
Still, the connector and adapter on the HD600 appears to be of good quality.

On a side note: I tried the HD600's on my Moto G7 Andriod phone yesterday while listening to meditation music. I needed to use a short cable to connect the phone to the 600's due to the hard plastic case I use on the phone, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the phone was able to drive the HD600's pretty well.
That said, I have no plans to use the 600's on the phone on a regular basis. It's only while sitting and listening to the meditation music that I enjoy the much lighter feel of the HD600's compared to the ATH-M50X, or the JBL/UA Wireless on-ear headphones, which are very uncomfortable for that sort of listening.

Edit: And not to mention the super-long cable on the HD600. Just like my much less expensive Sennheiser HD 497's the cable is the longest of any headphones I own.
So long that it gets in the way. But OTOH, when I decide to walk across the room while listening, or maybe listen while lying in bed, the long cable is really nice.
So I bought a second headphone hanger and attached it to the underside of my computer desk pullout (there is the keyboard pullout, and then another one under and to the right of it). While listening, I hang the cable on the hanger to keep it under control - so I don't accidentally hook my right foot through the cable while still wearing the cans... I've done that plenty of times with the HD497's and have actually pulled the cable out of the jack on the headphone. I guess it would be a bit more difficult to pull the two connectors off the HD600's, but I don't want to risk damaging the cable while I don't have a replacement.
I might consider shortening the cable and installing a (1/4in) Neutrik connector onto it, then using the remaining cable as an extension, but I'm hesitant to hack up a bran-new cable that way...
But the hanger I bought also came with some cable management thingies. Maybe I can make use of them.
 
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Jun 10, 2021 at 7:48 AM Post #74 of 81

ultrarunner2018

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OK. So now I need to decide on which DAC and amp I want to buy, since the one I am using (Behringer UMC202HD) appears to be my weak link, and there is an issue with the USB connector on the unit. That said, I have to admit that the HD600's sound really great on the UMC202HD. I just think my sound could be even better, and I wouldn't have the USB issue with a new DAC and amp.

So the big question is whether to go with a Schiit stack or something else - like THX.
If I do go with the Schiit stack, then I need to decide whether to go with the $200 stack - Modi + Magni. Or do I go all the way with the Modius + Magnius for $400.
From what I can see in the specs, besides the Modius + Magnius having balanced out/in, it has somewhat better specs overall.
Of course since the HD600 come with a SE cable, I would need to purchase a balanced cable (Dekoni is $99 on Amazon) (or a cheaper generic one for $45 on Amazon).
But if I get the better stack, and still use the SE output to my HD600's, am I losing something?
From what I have been reading, it seems that balanced vs single ended makes the most difference going from the DAC to the amp, and not from the amp to the headphones.

Sometimes when making decisions like this, I go all-out and spend more money than I 'need to'. I suppose I could have spent a lot more on the headphones, but I was doubtful I would enjoy the more expensive cans more than I am enjoying the HD600's. That's something I will need to find out someday when I have the cash to spend $500+ on another pair.

People talk about 'future proofing' your equipment. I suppose there is merit in this. I tend to do that when I do a computer build. I opt for near top of the line components, which is far more than I need at the time I build. But as time passes, I find that I am happier for a longer time with the better (more expensive) build.
So, will I be happier in the long run with the Modius + Magnius than I will be with the Modi + Magni or somethinc comparable.
Without having ever listened to anything better than the Behringer UMC202HD, I would hope that I can hear the difference between it and one of the Schiit stacks.
As I mentioned earlier in this thread, the UMC has a lot of high frequency (150KHz) noise on the headphone output. I cannot hear that noise of course, but I would think just having it there indicated a poor design.

I'm not going to lose any sleep over this, but I would like to make an 'informed' choice.

I appreciate all the help you guys have been giving me on this.

Ultrarunner
 

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